Posted in Ask the Librarian

Charli Osborne

Southfield Public Library

southfieldlibrary.org

My title is Library Coordinator – Youth Services. This means my duties include supervising the Youth Division staff, including making sure there’s enough staff to help people at the service desk, overseeing the budget for buying books and other materials for our collection, working with other divisions within the library and other departments in the city, and coordinating programs for youth. I see librarianship as a service profession and enjoy working with the public. I’ve been a librarian 21 years. I was the Head of Teen Services at the Oxford Public Library for 14 years and the Youth Services Librarian at Oak Park Public Library for 4 years before coming to the Southfield Library.

When I was little I always wanted to be a librarian because I loved learning and the best place to do that was our public library. But, I knew it was out of our reach financially. No one in my family had even gone to college, let alone enough college for a Master’s degree. I worked in my middle school and high school libraries as a page, and then put the dream away. I was working at contractor for Ford, doing computer programming, when I finally had saved up enough to go to library school. I started in public libraries and youth services right after graduation.

Choosing books is one of the really enjoyable parts of my job. I read reviews and talk to other librarians for recommendations. I also speak with kids and their parents to find out what they would like in our library.

My favorite author is Stephen King. I started reading his books when I was about 10.

One lesser known author I really like is YA author Tamora Pierce. She writes fiercely independent female characters and her world building is exquisite. There’s always plenty of action, intrigue and magic in a Tamora Pierce book.

When recommending books to anyone, I always begin by asking, “What is the last book you liked?” and “What did you like about that book?” That’s a good jumping off point. From that, I can get an idea of the types of books the person may enjoy reading.

If I could live in a book, I would choose Watership Down.

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